Learning to draw an apple is an easy subject to practice your artistic skills using curved lines. Creating realistic pencil drawings can be accomplished by adding shadows and highlights. In this drawing tutorial, I will share my drawing techniques so your pencil drawings will pop off the drawing surface.
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Apples come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, making them a fun subject for artists to paint and draw.
Some apples are more round while others narrow down at the bottom, making drawing apples a top choice for artists in still-life artwork.
Learning to draw an apple is similar to learning to draw grapes.
But different than learning how to draw a strawberry or an orange.
The skin of apples and grapes is smooth.
Strawberries and oranges have dimples.
Light will react differently to a smooth or dimpled surface.
While this drawing tutorial will demonstrate how to add shadows and highlights for a realistic drawing, it can also be a fun exercise for kids.
Kids can learn how to draw the contour of the apple and color it with crayons or colored pencils.
I encourage all children to have fun with their creative minds.
I recommend using a reference image of an apple for your apple drawing.
I use Pixabay for reference images for most of my tutorials.
Pixabay offers stunning free images and royalty-free stock, which you can use for practicing your art skills.
For my original drawings, I get most of my images at Wildlife Reference Photos or commissioned jobs.
Below is a list of all the materials I use for my drawings. I purchase all of my drawing supplies online at Blick Art Materials.
- Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board Pads 9″ x 12″ Smooth
- Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board Pads 9″ x 12″ Velum
- Related posts – Strathmore Bristol Smooth Paper Review
- General’s Factis Magic Black Eraser
- Tombow Mono Zero Refillable Eraser
- Prismacolor Kneaded Rubber Erasers
- Alvin Dry Cleaning Pad
How To Draw An Apple Step-By-Step
Lightly draw the contour (outline) of the apple using a Tombow Mono HB Pencil on a 5″ x 7″ piece of Strathmore Series Bristol Board Smooth.
You can create the drawing larger or smaller if you wish. But if you draw the apple too small, you will find it difficult to add subtle value changes and details to the drawing.
Drawing Tip: The proportions of the subject you are drawing must be accurate if your goal is to draw a realistic drawing. The grid method to sketch the subject will help keep the proportions accurate.
You can also use this to practice sketching an apple to enhance your sketching skills.
Note: The lines in the drawing below are darker than I usually sketch for my drawings.
I only outlined this apple darker in this drawing tutorial so that you can see it better in this post.
Sketching the subject lightly will make it easier to erase the subject’s outline after adding the shading.
Nothing in life has a line around it.
If you are trying to create realistic drawings, you want to create a form and separate planes with values, not outlines.
Values are the different shades you will be drawing with your graphite pencil.
Sketch An Apple
Start by sketching a circle as large as you would like the apple to be.
The circle does not have to be perfect because a real apple is not a perfect circle. They are irregular in shape.
Drawing Tips – Sketch the apple lightly so you can easily erase the guidelines later.
Draw two parallel lines for the stem and a curved line for the dip.
Sketch in the highlight and shadow.
To learn more, visit Drawing Tips For Realistic Drawings – The Elements Of Shading.
At this point, you have sketched the outline of an apple and the shadow, which gives it a cartoon look.
To draw a realistic drawing, you must add values to the apple and shadow.
At this point, you could give the contour drawing of the apple to your child to color.
Shade The Apple
Shading the apple will create its three-dimensional form.
Before you add value to your drawing, stand back to think about what you will be drawing.
Identify which direction the light is coming from and where the darkest values are on the apple.
Is there a cast shadow?
A cast shadow is a shadow that casts from an object or figure. The cast shadow varies in value and is not a solid shape. The closer the cast shadow is to an object, the darker it will be. The farther the cast shadow is from an object, the lighter and less defined it will be.
Drawing Tip: The darkest part of an object is where the light does not hit.
Start by adding value with your 2H pencil to the darkest area of the apple.
Drawing Tip: Using a 2H pencil first will, condition the paper and add graphite to the bottom of the tooth on your drawing paper. This will prevent the little white dots you will get if you start with a softer lead. Start applying graphite with your HB pencil when you can not get more value from your 2H pencil. If the area is still not dark enough, continue with your 2B pencil.
Work from dark to light and follow the contour of the apple.
Begin each line from the darkest area, draw towards the lighter areas, reducing the pressure as you go, and lightly lift the pencil off the paper to feather the line to white.
Drawing Tip – Follow the contour (shape of the apple).
Erase the sketch lines with your Tombow Mono Zero Refillable Eraser.
Build up tone gradually on the other dark areas of the apple.
Always work from dark to light and keep the lines going in the same direction as the apple.
You can see that the apple in the image above is starting to take form just by adding some value to the dark areas.
Drawing Tip: lightly remove some graphite from the outline of the apple with your kneaded eraser. This will help you blend in the lines so you will not see a dark contour outline. Remember, nothing in life has a line around it. Erase any lines you do not want with your Tombow Mono Zero Refillable Eraser.
At this point, you could say that your drawing is done or continue to add value to see how far you can go with the drawing.
It is important to keep referring to your reference image to see the fine details and soft value changes.
Use an HB and a 2B pencil to add the darker values.
Blend the values softly with a blending stump to soften the lines. Blend in the direction of the apple.
Continue to add the fine details by adding more graphite to the darker areas, soften the lines with a blending stump and lighten areas with a kneaded eraser.
I hope you enjoyed this step-by-step how-to draw an apple tutorial with videos.
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